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We've been hearing about this Tizen operating system for what feels like years now, but according to the latest rumors, the reality could soon be right around the corner. Samsung is rumored to unveil the Z1 smartphone, a Tizen-based handset, on December 10.
Samsung's Z1 handset would compete directly against Google's Android One initiative, which has the Mountain View-based search giant to get Android into the developing markets through cheaper handsets. VR World is reporting that Samsung could launch its Z1 handset with a 4-inch display with a resolution of 800x480, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor manufactured by Spreadtrum, which is a company Intel works with (and Intel being involved with the Tizen OS, too by the way).
Rounding up the specifications of the Z1, we have 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal flash storage, a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera, dual-SIM capabilities, and more. We should expect Samsung to unveil the Z1 on December 10, so keep your eyes peeled to TweakTown.
Amazon's first effort in the smartphone market, the Fire Phone, was an expensive endeavor that largely underwhelmed - but Amazon doesn't regret its decision, according to CEO Jeff Bezos. Even though the Fire Phone didn't work, the company is learning from its mistakes and will not shy away from experimenting to see what does and doesn't work.
"People love to focus on things that aren't working," Bezos recently said. "That's fine, but it's incredibly hard to get people to take bold bets. And if you push people to take bold bets, there will be experiments... that don't work."
The unlocked 32GB Fire Phone was recently given a price cut and is now available for $199, as Amazon wants to try to liquidate its large supply of the smartphone.
Huawei won't release any other smartphones powered by Microsoft Windows Phone, as the two handsets it made available running the OS weren't profitable. Instead, consumers want to enjoy Google Android smartphones, which yields a thriving community and jam-packed app store.
"We have tried using the Windows Phone OS," said Richard Yu, Huawei consumer business group lead. "But it has been difficult to persuade consumers to buy a Windows Phone. It wasn't profitable for us. We were losing money for two years on those phones."
Windows Phone now has just over 8.1 percent of global market share - still far behind Android and Apple iOS - but shows that Microsoft is able to continue expanding the OS further.
If you're walking around with one of Samsung's flagship smartphones, either the Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4, you might be wondering when you'll receive the new Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Well, it should be soon, hopefully.
The two flagship handsets have both been spotted running Google's latest mobile OS, with both iterations featuring a little Samsung inside in the form of Lollipop + TouchWiz UI. The above image is of the Galaxy Note 4 with Lollipop + TouchWiz UI running, while the image underneath it is of the Galaxy S5 with Lollipop mixed with the TouchWix Nature UX 3.0 on top.
We should expect Samsung to release the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5 sometime before the New Year, while the Galaxy Note 4 update not being too far behind it.
The FLIR case was designed as a hardware upgrade for any iPhone 6 user, allowing the device to function with a heat-vision like experience. Since the release of this product, the NVC has been spotted in development - allowing users to see through their smartphone, even in complete darkness.
There have been many apps reported to give users 'night vision', with the majority of these just utilizing different software tricks and brightness options, without providing a true infrared LED experience. The NVC offers your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus iteration of their device, which utilizes a 720P video camera, surrounded by a ring of eight infrared LEDs, set to illuminate objects up to 30 feet away without the need for a light source.
This time of year is hugely critical for manufacturers and retailers, with discounted prices on products, aimed at getting customers to open up their wallets. For smartphone shoppers, there are a surprising amount of devices that cost a single penny, assuming you're willing to sign a two-year contract, and the "low-end" smartphone market is progressing rapidly.
For American consumers familiar with the Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S 5, and other flagship models - these low-end models aren't likely appealing - but help recruit even more first-time smartphone owners to upgrade their phones. Not surprisingly, low-end smartphones are typically Google Android-powered devices, and Microsoft wants its Windows Phone 8.1 OS to help drive the market even further.
For some consumers, products such as the OnePlus One smartphone, which doesn't require a contract yet is still affordable, could lead to further shakeup of the phone market.
Amazon has no problem selling products, especially during the holidays, and its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets saw great sales during Black Friday. The company announced its Fire tablets tripled Black Friday sales year-over-year, while its Kindle e-reader saw almost four times the number of sales when compared to Black Friday 2013.
"This holiday there are going to be a lot of customers opening up new Amazon devices," said Dave Limp, Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices. "We're energized by the year-over-year growth of tablet and e-reader Black Friday sales on Amazon.com, plus the success of the new product categories we've launched this year."
Conveniently, Amazon didn't disclose how the Fire Phone sold, as Amazon continues to struggle selling its first entry into the smartphone market. However, the company has likely learned from its mistakes and will do better research before trying to jump into the smartphone market without properly doing its homework.
Nokia's new champion phone has been leaked to the public, thanks to Engadget we were able to have a sneak peak into the exterior design and possible features.
There have been rumors spread that Microsoft had begun development on a 'McLaren Windows Phone' - set to be the next installment of the Lumia series and most notably the Lumia 1020 product. The specialties that were most looked into most included the 1020's enlarged camera and "3D touch" features, with further rumors claiming that this project was eventually canned.
According to a recent listing for a prototype on a Chinese auction site named Taobao, it seems like the cancellation did not take place.
There are more Google Android mobile users running around the United States, but Apple iOS users enjoyed shopping and spending more on Black Friday. One-fifth of all sales on Thanksgiving Day and one-fourth of all sales on Black Friday were accounted to iOS - and Android snagged 5.6 percent on Thanksgiving Day and 6.9 percent on Black Friday, according to IBM's Digital Analytics Benchmark.
Specifically, iOS users spent an average of $121.86 per order while Android shoppers spent $98.07 per order - and iOS traffic was 34.2 percent of total online traffic during Black Friday.
Apple might only have 12 percent of the global smartphone market captured, but its users are fanatical about their devices.
While Samsung might be taming down its smartphone offerings, there are still a few handsets in the pipeline that we'll be introduced to very soon, one of which is the Galaxy A7.
A recent filing over at the FCC is now hinting at the Galaxy A7, which should feature an all-metal unibody frame. We should also expect quad-band connectivity with Band 5 LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, A-GPS, and NFC. Inside of the Galaxy A7, we should see the Snapdragon 615 processor, which is an 8-core 64-bit chip, Adreno 405 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of NAND flash.
The Galaxy A7 should sport a 5.2-inch FUll HD display, 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel selfie snapper. When should we expect Samsung to take the wraps off of this smartphone? We could guess and say CES 2015 in January, but it might be pushed off for a few months yet.